Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Meet The Team

Thought you might be interested in hearing about my usual day....just to prove that it isn't all fun, fun, fun down here!

5.30am...alarm goes off.

I put my clothes on top of my pyjamas and go to make a cup of tea in a thermos mug. The put on outside gear and head off to the picnic bench next to the signpost. I sit there drinking my tea and have a couple of fags before returning inside.

I have to get to the shower before 6am as after that time my fellow five female colleagues start fighting over getting in there.

After my shower I put my normal clothes back on, dry my hair in the ladies' room and go and get more tea. At 6.45am I chnage into my kitchen gear and head off to the kitchen.

At 7am I start to prepare stuff for the morning break (here they call it the 'smoko' - and according to Wikopedia 'the term, meaning a short work break, is believed to have originated in the British Merchant Navy and was in use as early as 1865. The term is still in use in the British Merchant Navy today.'....and in Antarcticia!).  Various delights for the morning smoko include, bacon, sausage and humburger rolls, cheesy toast, veggie burgers, spagetti or beans, 2 soups and bowls of tinned fruit. I also prepare take away boxes for the Garage and Ops guys who have their morning smoko in the garage. We are catering for about 60 people now and that number will double when the 'relief' arrives - (the relief are the ships The Shackleton and the huge Russian cargo ship The Igarka). The Igarka arrives on Christmas Day whilst The Shackleton arrives 10 days later.

The Team - (from left) me, Ant, John, Chris and Alan

At 10am the Morrison (constructors) guys have their smoko and at 10.30am the BAS staff have theirs.

Once the smoko prep is done my attention turns to the lunch menu.

Lunch consists of soups, speciality breads, 2 meat dishes, 1 veggie dish, 1 potato or starch dish, 1 veg and we make use of any left overs from the night before for more options.

After lunch attention turns to the afternoon smoko which consists of cakes, traybakes, biscuits and toasted teacakes all of which are made overnight by the night chefs.

Whilst the BAS and Morrison people devour their dinner of 2 meat dishes, 1 veggie, 2 starch, 2 veg, sauces and 2 desserts we clean down the kitchen, sweep and mop the floors. We have a team of domestic helpers called 'The Saints" who tidy up after the meals, do the washing and generally keep the whole base clean and tidy. This always smiling team got their name courtesy of where they come from........ St Helena. And just for those who think they learn nothing from this blog.........

Their island was named after St Helena of Constantinople and is an island of volcanic origin in the South Atlantic Ocean. It is part of the British Overseas Territory of Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristran da Cunha. Saint Helena measures about 10 miles by 5 miles and has a population of 4,255 (2008 census).
The island has a history of over 500 years since it was first discovered as an uninhabited island by the Portuguese in 1502. Britain's second oldest remaining colony (after Bermuda), Saint Helena is one of the most isolated islands in the world and was for several centuries of vital strategic importance to ships sailing to Europe from Asia and South Africa. For several centuries, the British used the island as a place of exile, most notably for Napoleon Bonaparte, Dinuzulu kaCetshwayo and over 5,000  Boer prisoners.

Anyway these guys are was a job done by the Argentinians until they decided to square up to Margaret Thatcher over the Falklands. Since then all the domestic guys have come from Saint Helena.

Now where was I?

At 8pm we get to rest our aching feet and sit down for the first time in the day to have our dinner. After which I change into my normal clothes and head to the bar for my two small tinnies!!!!

Bed by 10pm in bright daylight!.


  1. Cheers!
    You for sure deserve your tinnies!
    What a long day, and quite a lot of work!

  2. You're certainly earning your wages Lorna!

    Merry Christmas! we'll raise a glass to you later down at Remezzo! Lin

  3. what a day!

    merry xmas and a happy new year.
    (expect you will have a white 1!)

  4. Sounds like you have your mufflers full. But I haven't heard anything about the penguins. Don't work too hard. They might need you are the ice for the Penguin hunt. Have a great holiday.
    Jim and Janet